Goodbye Kaikoura, pronto Dunedin!

March 11, 2024

Author: Katie Culp, B Watch, College of the Atlantic ‘24


Ship's Log

March 6th, 2024Position: 42°58.609’S x 173°33.606’EShip’s heading and speed: 194° T, 6.7 knotsWeather: A mostly sunny, breezy day, with winds easing during the day(averaging a force 4 midday and dropping to force 2-3 in the evening) andthe midday temperature reaching 15°C. Seas around 2-3 feet at anchor inKaikoura and increasing to 7 feet while underway in the evening.

Kia ora all!We departed our anchorage at 1330 this afternoon, leaving Kaikoura, with itssnow-powdered peaks, green valleys, and lively crowd of dolphins behind inswirling seafoam. Today was a most exciting day to be on watch allafternoon. As a watch, we spotted three whales, many dolphins leaping andflipping in the air, and one elusive shark! One of the whales was a spermwhale that surfaced so close to the ship that everyone who was on deck atthe time got a close look and could easily make out most of its gray bodyamong the waves.Kaikoura has one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen, withcraggy green cliffs that drop right down into the sea. Yesterday afternoon,as we all enjoyed the dolphins playing around the ship, rays of sunlightbeamed down on the mostly clouded landscape behind and lit up pockets ofhills and valleys, turning the land they touched a vivid emerald. As we leftour anchorage and began to move offshore I did my very best to take a mentalimage of the tall mountains of Kaikoura—it hardly seems possible toencounter scenery more stunning than this, my eyes marveling at all theshades of bright blue and green one can notice from the deck of the Bobby C.Today was also a big day because it was the day that a plan that had longbeen in the works was finally put into action. The students and crew whocould grow facial hair had been diligently growing out their beards for thisvery day, the day when they would all style their facial hair to match ourbeloved professor, Dan Brayton. Those who, like myself, could not possiblygrow a beard in time for this special event, used eyeliner to draw on Dan’ssignature mustache and goatee. We then spent the rest of the afternoonreferring to each other as “Blue Dan”, “Helms Dan”, “Pigtail Dan”, “Mr.Dan”, etc. because today, we were all Dan. As a matter of fact, it was notuncommon for a shipmate to enter a room and address everyone in the generalvicinity with a nod and a simple “Dan.” No matter that Dan, himself, hadmiraculously chosen this morning as the perfect moment to get rid of themustache and goatee we all so desperately wanted to emulate. As we surprisedhim with our new facial hair he surprised us with a clean-shaven face! Inthe midst of our shock and disbelief, someone merely grabbed the eyelinerand drew the facial hair right back on him, crisis averted. Today we wereall Dan. However, stay tuned for more interesting and perhaps abstractfacial hair concepts in the coming days, the can of worms having been priedopen and not easily shut again.Yeehaw,Katie Culp, B Watch, College of the Atlantic ‘24P.S.1: Chelsea would like to inform her family and friends that she was theone who spotted the shark while on look-out. This would be a big moment foranyone, but as sharks are Chelsea’s favorite animal this is a pretty bigdeal.P.S.2: A warm hello to my family reading the blog—I’m so tickled that you’refollowing along in the adventure! I can’t wait to tell you all about itin-person while delighting in all your adventures as well!

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